Thursday at the Midland theater
TV viewers disappointed by the quality of “Saturday Night Live” in recent years can register their complaints with John Mulaney at the Midland theater on Thursday. Mulaney spent a few years writing for the comedy program. His contributions must have impressed executives at Fox; the network began airing the sitcom “Mulaney” last October. The New York-based Mulaney will demonstrate his skill as a stand-up comedian on Thursday. Much of his material is based on his everyman demeanor, with topics including childhood bullying, the silliness of other television shows and the sordid headlines of tabloids.
8 p.m. Thursday, March 19. Midland, 1228 Main St. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $27.50-$35.
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Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
Friday at the Sprint Center
One of the last of the Luddite rockers, Bob Seger has never chased current trends. Only relatively recently did the icon of Heartland rock allow digital versions of his music to be sold on iTunes. Seger’s catalog still isn’t available on streaming services like Spotify. Even at the peak of his popularity, Seger was prone to bouts of nostalgia. The Michigan native complained that “today’s music ain’t got the same soul” on the 1979 hit “Old Time Rock and Roll.” A few weeks shy of 70, the titan of classic rock will revisit longtime favorites like “Night Moves” and “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” at the Sprint Center on Friday.
8 p.m. Friday, March 20. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $43-$93.
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Jeremy Denk, pianist
Friday at Helzberg Hall
Local listeners have come to expect superlative performances from the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The chamber orchestra has previously appeared five times in the Harriman-Jewell Series. The accomplished British ensemble will demonstrate why it has made more recordings than almost any other classical organization as it’s joined by American pianist Jeremy Denk in a program of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach and Igor Stravinsky.
8 p.m. Friday, March 20. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-415-5025. hjseries.org. $20-$80.
Friday at Polsky Theatre
Deva Mahal, the daughter of blues-rock icon Taj Mahal, opened a 2013 concert for her father at Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College as a member of the duo Fredericks Brown. The folk, rock and blues ensemble returns to the campus on Friday to perform at the adjacent Polsky Theatre. Vocalist Mahal and keyboardist Stephanie Brown create warm, acoustic-based music that appeals to fans of artists such as Tracy Chapman, Bonnie Raitt and Richie Havens. Mahal’s voice, ephemeral but buoyed by an inner strength, should sound particularly powerful in the relatively intimate confines of Polsky Theatre.
8 p.m. Friday, March 20. Polsky Theatre, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park. 913-469-4445. jccc.edu/theseries. $22.
The Greater Kansas City Home Show
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Bartle Hall
Suitable activities and respites await attendees of every temperament at the 2015 edition of the Greater Kansas City Home Show. Reluctant visitors are welcome to cool their heels while enjoying adult beverages at the Pub in the Park. People with excess energy to burn can hit a rock climbing tower. Attendees attracted to the glow of celebrity will seek out appearances by TV personalities including Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” program. Most visitors, however, will be eager to find new ways to improve their homes and gardens. Over 200 exhibitors will offer ideas and guidance on domestic matters.
10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, March 22. Bartle Hall. 816-942-8800. kchba.org. $10 at the door. Children 12 and under are free.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Kansas City Improv
Corey Holcomb traffics in the sort of salty humor associated with the off-color banter occasionally heard at men’s barber shops. He’s not above calling his daughter and the mother of his children offensive names. Holcomb’s deeply blue humor hasn’t prevented him from achieving mainstream success. Holcomb’s TV appearances range from “The Tonight Show” to “Black Jesus.” His work in films includes roles in “Like Mike” and the recent release “The Wedding Ringer.” Fans of reckless comedy have five opportunities to catch Holcomb at Kansas City Improv this weekend.
8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, March 20; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, March 21; and 7 p.m. Sunday, March 22. Kansas City Improv, 7260 N.W. 87th St. 816-759-5233. improvkc.com. $22-$27.
Friday at the Folly Theater
Many people who might roll their eyes at the corny jokes associated with TV’s “Hee Haw” and broadcasts of “The Grand Ole Opry” adore the silly comedic routines conducted by Marty Stuart and his band. Awful jokes are transformed into comedic gold in the hands of the musicians. Yet comedy represents just a portion of Stuart’s appeal. In addition to being a vibrant entertainer, Stuart is an important caretaker of country music’s traditions. An heir to the legacies of bluegrass giant Bill Monroe and country legend Johnny Cash, Stuart is a paragon of authenticity during an era in which a lot of contemporary country is disconnected from the roots of the form.
8 p.m. Friday, March 20. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. 816-474-4444. follytheater.org. $20-$75.
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons
Friday at the Uptown Theater
The self-made celebrity RuPaul became one of the most prominent people to present an alternative version of sexuality to the American public in the 1990s. RuPaul has parlayed his fame into a multitude of media formats that includes his role as the host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Currently in its seventh season, the TV reality show features contestants vying to follow in RuPaul’s footsteps by becoming “America’s next drag superstar.” Fifteen of the program’s former contestants are slated to perform at the Uptown Theater on Friday. Michelle Visage, rather than RuPaul, will serve as the evening’s host.
10 p.m. Friday, March 20. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway. 816-753-8665. uptowntheater.com. $32-$47.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland
Saturday at Sporting Park
The outcome of the home opener of Sporting KC’s 2015 season may have been disappointing, but the atmosphere of the match against the New York Red Bulls was entirely winning. The deeply felt passion displayed by Sporting fans almost compensated for the discouraging draw. Sporting KC faces the Portland Timbers in its second game at Sporting Park. A portion of the home team’s rowdy affection may be directed at a representative of the opposing team. As a popular member of the Kansas City Wizards, Missouri native and current Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury was an integral component of Kansas City’s soccer scene last decade.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21. Sporting Park. 913-912-7600. sportingkc.com. $20-$275.
“Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries”
Opens Saturday at the Museum at Prairiefire
A bit of New York is coming to Overland Park. Rather than a fashion show or a Broadway production, however, this taste of the Big Apple comes in the form of bones. “Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries” is an exhibit created by New York’s American Museum of Natural History. The setting of the 2006 film “Night at the Museum,” the American Museum of Natural History possesses a far bigger collection of artifacts than can be housed in its sprawling facility. The exhibit “explores how paleontologists today are using an incredible array of new technologies, discoveries and ideas to investigate and reinterpret many of the most persistent and puzzling mysteries of dinosaurs.”
Saturday, March 21-Sunday, July 12. Museum at Prairiefire, 5801 W. 135th St., Overland Park. 913-333-3500. museumatpf.org. $14. $8 for children ages 3-12.
Sunday at the Sprint Center
James Bond has nothing on Charlie Wilson. The fictional secret agent’s introduction of “Bond. James Bond,” may be known around the world, but rabid R&B fans prefer the greeting “My name is Charlie, last name Wilson.” The veteran soul man is partly responsible for the monumental funk hits “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Oops Upside Your Head” as a member of the Gap Band. His resurgent solo career has been no less impressive. The 2009 gem “There Goes My Baby” is already considered a classic soul hit. Wilson is touring in support of his new album, “Forever Charlie.” Two additional outstanding soul singers — Kem and Joe — open Sunday’s show.
7 p.m. Sunday, March 22. Sprint Center. 816-949-7000. sprintcenter.com. $47.50-$84.
Tuesday at the Lied Center
Although she’s 67, Bernadette Peters retains the kewpie doll persona and mop of curly red hair that first made her a distinctive star of stage and screen in the 1970s. A throwback to an era of multifaceted entertainers such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Bing Crosby, Peters possesses formidable skills as an actor, vocalist and comedian. After becoming an established favorite on Broadway stages, Peters landed leading roles in the Steve Martin films “The Jerk” and “Pennies From Heaven,” which further enhanced her popularity. Peters’ appearance at the Lied Center promises to be a delightfully old-fashioned display of uncommon talent.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 24. Lied Center, 1600 Stewart, Lawrence. 785-864-2787. lied.ku.edu. $40-$55.
Stewart Copeland and Jon Kimura Parker
Wednesday at the Lied Center
Of the three members of the massively successful rock band the Police, only vocalist and bassist Sting is a household name. Since the dissolution of the group responsible for hits including “Roxanne” and “Every Breath You Take,” Sting has maintained a high profile, while guitarist Andy Summers has focused on jazz. Much of drummer Stewart Copeland’s post-Police activity has centered on classical music. Copeland’s ongoing collaboration with pianist and composer Jon Kimura Parker will continue at the Lied Center on Wednesday. The audience can expect to hear percussive classical sounds, adventurous jazz and experimental rock.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. Lied Center, 1600 Stewart, Lawrence. 785-864-2787. lied.ku.edu. $20-$35.
| Bill Brownlee, Special to The Kansas City Star